Fulton County

Grady to open new emergency department, fill gap left in wake of AMC closure in south Fulton County

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The November 2022 closure of the Atlanta Medical Center made a large part of the metro Atlanta area into a healthcare desert.

On Wednesday, Channel 2′s Candace McCowan got an exclusive look at how county officials and medical professionals are working to bring life-saving emergency care to thousands of families in need.

A new emergency department is coming to what is considered a healthcare desert in South Fulton County. It’s a part of town that was hit hard with the closure of Wellstar AMC. The new facility is a partnership with Fulton County and Grady Health System.

“We knew and have known that there was a healthcare desert in South Fulton County,” Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts said about the need in South Fulton County.

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Grady Health System, in partnership with Fulton County, wants to meet it.

From the ground up, they will build a free-standing emergency department in Union City.

“It’ll have 16 bays emergency treatment bays, it will be for adults and pediatrics,” Grady President and CEO John Haupert.

The projected 40-acre site is along South Fulton Parkway and Campbellton Fairburn Road, next to the county Elections Hub and Operations Center.


“It could be lifesaving. If someone is having chest pain, their loved one brings them there they can be more quickly assessed than if someone had to drive them all the way up to Grady or all the way to Piedmont Hospital South of Fulton County,” said Haupert.

The plan began right after Wellstar AMC closed its door and there was a clear need for an emergency department south of I-20. This isn’t a trauma center, Trauma injuries will still go to places like Grady. But this new 24-hour emergency department, they’ll serve adults and children.

“There is a huge demand for emergency pediatric services within that service area,” said Haupert. “Right now if you have a sick child and need to go to an emergency room you have to come up to Hughes Spalding or go all the way up to CHOA,” said Haupert.

“We will have stabilization there for mental health as well.”

The project has a $38 million price tag.

“It is going to require a financial commitment on the part of the county but it’s worth it and I think it’s about a $19 million price tag that Grady is going to be asking,” said Pitts.

“Grady is going to utilize federal funding that we secured for the expressed purpose of expanding access to care,” said Haupert.

For those who live in the area, it can’t come fast enough.

“It has been almost dire,” said Union City Mayor Vince Williams. “We already grapple with inequity as it relates to a number of things but access to quality healthcare has been a huge concern.”

“This is one step as we move forward,” Williams added.

The announcement comes ahead of a Healthcare Inequities Town Hall set for Thursday, April 18th at 6 p.m. at Work Creek Library.

Grady will now begin the state’s certificate of need process in the coming weeks.

If that’s approved, the county funding is secured, they could break ground here in by the end of the year and open the doors in 2026.

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